What Customers Want In A Dispensary (Tips & Consumer Trends)
It isn't easy to believe that people are picky with the dispensaries they patronize.
However, just like everyone has a favorite restaurant or retail store, people also have a favorite dispensary where they like to shop. Why? This is simply because the dispensary they choose offers what they want.
As time and technology advance, cannabis users have modern demands that they require dispensaries to offer. From online shopping to service personalization, here are some things customers want in a dispensary.
The Growth Of Dispensary Businesses
Anyone will agree that the dispensary business is not what it used to be. Time, laws, demands, and technology have affected it so much that there are changes in the basic dispensary business operation that was not here years ago
One such significant change is legalizing cannabis and cannabis products in some countries. In the U.S. alone, Nineteen states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of cannabis (marijuana) for adult recreational use.
This legalization was pivotal to the future of the dispensary business, bringing it to the limelight. With marijuana now legal in some places, there was a corresponding increase in demand for the use of CBD and THC. This increase in demand led to a rise in the need for supply. Soon, dispensaries started popping up in different states, pushing the competition into overdrive.
In 2020, the global cannabis market size was $20.47 billion. By 2020, there were almost 7500 dispensaries across the country. While this was great, it also meant a subsequent increase in competition amongst dispensaries.
2020 was a life-altering year for cannabis users and dispensaries alike. The lockdown restrictions caused an estimated 50% of cannabis users to increase their consumption. It also caused many dispensaries to temporarily close down or permanently fold up due to the health regulations and a lack of footfall in the brick-and-mortar stores leading to fewer sales.
The restrictions have since been lowered, and dispensaries everywhere are trying to settle back into the business. However, this is easier said than done, as many cannabis users and dispensary frequenters have experienced a mental awakening about what kind of experience they want to have at dispensaries.
Although this awakening was a product of the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the pandemic undoubtedly contributed to the high expectations customers expected of dispensaries.
Because competition in the business is high, dispensaries everywhere are doing all they can to implement solutions to their customers’ needs. Consumers everywhere are clamoring for the ultimate experience and better satisfaction, and dispensary owners are doing all they can to ensure these needs are met to outrival competition.
Implementing consumer needs in the business is easier for dispensaries that already have an idea of what these needs are. So, what happens when you have no idea where to start?
What Customers Want In A Dispensary
Dispensary consumers, like any other shopper, have basic and unique needs that need to be satisfied. Some of these include:
1. Product Delivery
The covid-19 pandemic was a real eye-opener for many cannabis consumers. With the privilege of being able to show up in stores taken away temporarily, consumers had to resort to other alternatives.
First came panic shopping as consumers chose to stock up during the pandemic. Next, they look for alternative ways of getting their hand on cannabis from dispensaries. One of the best alternative solutions was product delivery.
With product delivery, consumers could enjoy the convenience of having their product delivered to their doorstep. This reduced the level of contact needed for the transaction, ensured consumers were happy and increased their satisfaction. It was a safe and comfortable process that left everyone happy.
The restrictions have long since relaxed, and shoppers have eagerly returned to brick-and-mortar dispensary establishments. Regardless of this return to normalcy, many shoppers still want to indulge in curb-side deliveries for their comfort and convenience.
As much as they crave quality products and in-person services, many shoppers also want the convenience and comfort of shopping from home. This is why they are biassed to dispensaries with official software or websites for product order and delivery.
2. Range of Products
No one wants to patronize a dispensary that never stocks up on the needed products. This is why customers often choose dispensaries where the shelves are lined with different types of products.
Cannabis flowers or buds are one of the primary things consumers purchase. However, the cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and innovative companies are trying their hands out at diverse product types.
From CBD juices and gummies to other edibles, dispensary consumers explore their tastes and try out different cannabis-based products. This is especially true for young adult consumers who are more adventurous than the baby boomers.
If you want your dispensary to remain a customer magnet, it has to be a one-stop shop with a variety of everything. Admittedly, you can never have all the CBD products there are. However, it is essential to have as much as is in demand.
While you stock your shelves, you must remember to only stock quality. Quality is one of the many features that appeal to dispensary shoppers. If you want to remain relevant in the competitive dispensary business, always prioritize quality.
Thanks to the growing popularity of the cannabis market, more organizations are manufacturing products to contribute to the rapidly depleting cannabis products in the market. Unfortunately, many of these organizations are only in it for the money and produce harmful low-quality products.
Low-quality products are an instant turn-off for shoppers. It is one of the primary reasons why consumers switch from one dispensary to the other. Consumers stick to dispensaries that offer organic strains, a solid selection of cannabis products, and a high-quality portfolio. Anything sub-par will cause shoppers to bail on your dispensary.
4. Great Brand Image
Dispensaries are a lot different from what they used to be. Dispensaries are no longer blank shops with nothing but a signboard bearing a name on them but an entire brand with a solid brand image.
As a dispensary in the 21st century, consumers expect you to be more than just a name and logo. They expect other features like aesthetics, innovation, and value. Dispensaries are slowly becoming the next big business industry. An excellent brand image is a great way to enjoy inclusivity in this movement.
A solid brand image reassures your consumers and helps them trust you better. They see you as more than a simple building but an organization they would love to be affiliated with.
Customers today expect dispensaries to have a brand theme, social media influence, a website, and even a blog, if possible. They expect the whole branding package they would be privy to in retail stores, or even better.
Branding is often overlooked, but this is undoubtedly a significant factor for shoppers looking to pitch their tent with one dispensary.
5. Loyalty Programs
This factor is unsurprising as consumers love to feel valued. They love to enjoy incentives and save as much money as they can.
Consumers are biassed to dispensaries that offer loyalty programs, rewards for actions, or for simply being a part of the brand. This creates a sense of loyalty, making them more likely to stick to that brand.
To marketers and dispensary owners, loyalty programs are a great way to become a shopper’s favorite dispensary. It not only works as a customer acquisition initiative but is also an excellent way to retain these customers by breeding loyalty and trust.
To clients, loyalty programs are a yardstick to measure how much a brand values them. However, loyalty programs offer win-win benefits for dispensaries and customers.
Not sure how to implement loyalty programs in your dispensary? Some steps you can take include:
- Offer special discounts or perks.
- Offer incentives for action taken on your social media. For example, offer a coupon code to clients who repost your content or take part in an online challenge.
- Offer combo sales.
- Use points-per-visit systems to encourage return sales.
- Arrange referral discounts as a way to please loyal customers and get new clients. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone.
- Offer birthday discounts to loyal customers.
- Spice up your business calendar by offering themed discounts.
6. Excellent Customer Service
According to a report by Microsoft, 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. Another survey showed that 73% of customers point to experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. This comes right behind other essential determinant factors like price and product quality.
Customers love to feel appreciated. They love to get value for their money and time, which is exactly why excellent customer service remains a priority for many shoppers today.
The cannabis industry has changed so that many dispensaries do not need to make underground sales. Now, dispensaries function like regular establishments and shoppers crave to be treated as they will be in any other business establishment.
Customer service does not begin and end with a welcoming aesthetic. Little actions like open communication and a helpful staff goes a long way in elevating a dispensary shopper’s shopping experience.
Customer service also exceeds past purchases made in-store. It involves small actions like:
- Training employees to handle questions and complaints while making a sale and after the purchase is closed. A welcoming staff is key to a successful establishment.
- Having a FAQ page to deal with consumer questions. This is an easy way to keep clients happy and satisfied with their transactions.
- Ensuring that all complaints are settled immediately.
- Having an accessible customer service line or page to handle all customer requests.
- Keeping in touch with your clients. Continually sending personalized targeted marketing messages helps clients feel like a valued part of the brand. Although many businesses consider this to be a form of marketing strategy, keeping in touch with clients and potential clients before and after a purchase is completed is a significant part of satisfactory customer experience.
Many cannabis users are enthusiastic about using the products but have no idea what products are best for them.
Although many of these people have made a few random purchases, some are first-time users who don’t know where to begin and are reluctant to ask questions for fear of looking like amateurs.
This is why many dispensary shoppers today appreciate dispensaries that take the time to walk them through their purchases. The cannabis industry might have undergone an expansion but it is still a very limited business without the adverts and guidance that other businesses offer.
As a result, many dispensary shoppers- often those shoppers new to the dispensary shopping experience- choose helpful dispensaries. They look out for dispensaries with:
- Educated staff who are more than willing to guide them through the shopping experience.
- Digital signage used to offer useful information.
- Interactive displays that offer details in the products available in the dispensary.
- Recommendations that vary with shopper experience level. This offers a starting point in the confusing maze of shopping in unrecognized territory.
- Videos or illustrations showing visual representation of products and how they are used.
Tips To Attract Customers To Your Dispensary
Owning a successful dispensary depends on your ability to offer customers exactly what they want. Satisfied customers are happy customers. Happy customers make purchases and keep dispensaries in business.
As demands in dispensaries increase, it is essential to use the opportunity to grow your client base by attracting customers. So tips to help you do this include:
1. Invest in digital signage
Digital signage solves a significant number of problems that arise from running a successful dispensary.
It is a great medium for advertising your brand, educating your clients, and even implementing indoor advertisement. Although there are many digital signage solutions available today, none measures up to the sophistication that Loop TV offers.
Loop TV is a business TV that offers over 145 entertainment channels (including news, lifestyle, music videos, sports, and even kid channels!) and free digital signage features. With Loop TV, you can create customized outdoor signs, indoor product catalogues, aisle signs, and educational slideshows.
2. Offer unique reward and referral deals
3. Frequently post engaging content on your digital signs
4. Leverage your social media accounts
5. Train your staff to be welcoming and helpful to clients
6. Address customers with their names. This increases their sense of inclusivity
7. Use digital signage and appealing content to up-sell. Remember to incentivize with better prices when you do
8. Offer online ordering options
9. Request for reviews and display them on your website or in-store using Loop TV
Making It All Happen
Dispensary customers today crave exclusivity, sophistication, and convenience, and one of the many ways to offer this and more is to invest in Loop TV.
Loop TV offers dispensaries the chance to break the barriers between their brand and consumers using high-quality entertainment and digital signage solutions.
This business TV offers more than 145 music video, news, and lifestyle content (among many others) and an equally effective selection of unique digital signage features.
The best part is, Loop TV offers all these for free!
With free access to unique signage solutions and entertaining content, you have all you need to scale your dispensary at your fingertips.
Not sure how to get started? Sign up for a free media player on Loop TV’s official website!